7/2/2012 - Secure The Next Big Promotion
There are a number of philosophies about how to get ahead in business, but the best way to earn the next promotion that comes up is to add some current training in bookkeeping or accounting to the education you've already completed. Either through traditional universities or online accounting schools, a bit of this training will go a long way toward earning you that big promotion.
When companies look for upper-level executives, they often look for the relationships that a candidate has with outside sources of major business, with potential partners, and with major markets. But when they look for lower-level managers they aren't looking for people who can create global strategies. They don't even necessarily require management experience, since they have procedures for supervisors to follow.
Understanding the company's business and corporate culture, however, is critical. For this reason, many companies prefer to fill lower level supervisory and management positions internally rather than hiring an outside person to come in. Making these promotions available to existing employees gives them something to work for, which is good motivation. And it ensures that root-level management will be a product of the company's culture.
In addition to knowing the corporate culture (and to showing your manager that you know it), a knowledge of accounting can make you stand out as an eminently promotable employee. You might not think this is essential since not all managers handle their own budget. But all managers do contribute data to the accounting department, which instructs financial decisions at the highest level. A manager with accounting knowledge has a skill set that will help him do a good job.
Even setting aside the degree itself, just pursuing an education in accounting is a good strategy for edging out the competition for promotions because it allows you to get your manager on your side. Companies want to keep good employees working for them, so managers tend to like to encourage good employees to grow within the company. One of the metrics by which your manager is judged is how well he's doing that, so giving him an opportunity to cultivate an employee makes him look good.
If you ask your supervisor about these opportunities, odds are part of the cost of education will be covered by the company. In addition, you will open a conversation about your future with the company in such a way that encourages management to look at you as a promotable member of the team. It's really as simple as this: if you say you want to learn accounting because you want to be promoted, your manager will start thinking of you for a promotion.
Every good manager has two or three employees identified as promotion candidates at any given time. The decision of who to promote is made on a daily basis, not at the time the promotion comes available. To get the promotion, you have to first become one of those promotable employees, and getting your manager to endorse your continuing education is a great way to put yourself in that position.
It also gives you something to discuss with your manager that originates outside of work but relates to work. There are numerous online accounting schools that can provide a quality education, and as you move through the program you'll have an opportunity to make your relationship with your manager more personal without crossing any lines.
Christopher is an education major and is pursuing his Mater's in secondary education. He likes to blog about online schools and degrees.
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